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15th June 1920, Page 20
15th June 1920
Page 20
Page 20, 15th June 1920 — TRANSPORT TIPS FOR TRADESMEN.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Particularly Addressed to Those Who are Replacing Horsed Vehicles by Motors, or Contemplating So Doing.

HE PURCHASER of a motor van, particularly Light But Bulky Loads. HE PURCHASER of a motor van, particularly Light But Bulky Loads. Tif he does not possess any very complete

organization for maintenance and repairs, should be very careful not only of what he buys but where he ratlys it. No vehicle can be so perfect as not to require occasional repair and regular attention.

The Right Choke of ai Agent.

The agent from whom the vehicle is actually obtained quite properly makes a profit on the transaction, but the manufacturer does not appoint him merely to act as.a middleman, but rather with a view to securing better service for his clients when the vehicles are in use.. From the van owner's point of view, there is a big difference between the value of the agent who realizes that it is his duty to give service and that he .will build up a future business by so doing; and the value of the man who merely 'wants tc take his profit on the sale and, then, to hear nothing-furthenof the vehicle. The trader pays the Same price whatever may be the channel through Which he purchases the particular vehicle selected, but, if he/purchases it through the right channel he gets, so to speak, thrown in with the van, the right to seek expert assistance whenever it is required and the askrance that repaint and.overhauls will be conducted in a thoroughly competent and promptfmanner and will only be charged for at. reasonable prices.

This one of the point g upon which the prospective user will do well to take the opinion of friends who are already motor users in the same district is this question of the relative value, from the service standpoint, of local members of the motor trade, The matter is one in which manufacturers are keenly in terested A',afirst-classmanufacturer is always anxious to.appoint only agents who, by service, will give subsequent satisfaction to their customers and help to maintain the high repute of the vehicles. Consequently, the first-class agents, as a. general thing, handle the best vehicles. • .

When an spent presses upon you some totally unknown vehicle on the groands that its price is low, or with the claim.that it-possesses some extraordinary merit, theresis always room for speculation as to whether if his own, service organizationj were more complete, he representing manufacturers whose names are better known. a Alternatively, he may be unduly greedy. ArPestablished manufacturer cannot afford to pay abnormally big agents' commissions, because, if he,doestao, he must necessarily raise his prices so as to get back from the. customer the bulk of the exorbitant amount paid to the agent. Thus, an agent, who is merely out to make money quick rather than to build up, a,, business.on a sound basis may think that he will do better by dealing with some less known and inferior manufacturer, who will offer him almost any :financial inducement he asks, because he cannot get rid of his products in any 'other way.

The motor trade is like all others. It contains thoroughly sound .men and 4hers who are not thoroughly sound. The sound man will want to sell

• really good articles at a reasonable price, in ordeif to build up goodwill. He will not expect to make an extravagant profit on each deal, and this policy will he noticeable also in his charges for repairs, overhauls and so-on. The other type is out to make all

, the profit he can, before he is found out and his business is killed by a general recognition that the -stuff in which he deals is inferior and his prices are outrageously high.


In some trades the goods which require to be carried are exceptionally bulky or exceptionally light for their size. This state of affairs presents certain difficulties when it come g to the introdu,ction of motor vehicles. Generally speaking, chassis designed for lorry loads have only moderate wheelbase& It is -not desirable to extend the body more than a reasonable distance behind the back axle. Very great overhang of the body behind. the axle tends to make a vehicle rather unmanageable and somewhat dangerous in traffic owing to the extent to which its tail sweeps round at corners. Also, the body which , extends far-behind the rear of the chassis, unless exceptionally stoutly constructed, is liable to become strained and, after a time, to shake to pieces. For these reasons, the length of body on a chassis of given wheelbase is limited. There are natural limits also to the width, since any vehicle notably wider than others using the -road would be 'difficult and dangerous to manoeuvre in dense traffic. Again, there are limits to height imposed by loading diffi: culties and by the presence of low bridges and over, hanging trees on country roads. There is, however, no insuperable difficulty in the way of making the height considerably greater than the normal, espeeially as, if thepackages are light, the difficulty of handling them at a height is reduced. During the war, a nunaber of vehicles having rather exceptionally long wheelbasea were used under motor ambulance bodies, and generally speaking these should be puitable for service, under van bodies of large dimen

bions but fairly light in construction. If -a more substantial type of vehicle is required, the conditions the use of a chassis designed primarily for motor char-a-banes work and having an exceptionally long wheelbase, with a view to the carriage of a long body with plenty of seating accommodation. Some manufacturers build special vehicles far this class of I work, similar, except in respect, of wheelbase and frame, to the chassis which they build for ordinary trade work to carry about the same useful load.

Too Early to Worry About Alcohol Mixtures.

In view of the publication of various particulars of recent tests of petrol substitutes, many attempts will no doubt be made to compare these substitutes -with' petrol from the point of view of the cost of fuel per mile run. Users should be warned that, where any of the proposed fuels contain any percentage of power alcohol, satisfactory comparisons of cost are at present impossible, because the price at which the alcohol can be obtained for fuel purposes is, at present, ,a fanciful one. A statement recently appeared in the Press to the effect that. a 50 per cent. mixture of alcohol and benzole was, in a certain test, found to be 12 per cent. more-economical than petrol. This was followed by a statement that petrol is cheaper to use, if the price per gallon of the two is the same. These statements appear to/ be conflicting, but are not necessarily so.

The commercial man need not, however, trouble himself on the subject for the present. It will be time for him to do sm when he knows that power alcohol is available for his use at a price substantially lower than that asked for petrol.

In the meanwhile, muddled statements, in which thermal efficiency is a.pparently confused with commercial economy, can be disregarded, since there are many difficulties to, be cleared out of the way before fuel alcohol will be obtainable, under conditions and at prices which will make alcohol mixtures commercially suitable for use in this country.